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Peptide-stabilized emulsions and gels from an arginine-rich surfactant-like peptide with antimicrobial activity

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b00581 DOI Help

Authors: Valeria Castelletto (University of Reading) , Charlotte J. C. Edwards-gayle (University of Reading) , Ian W. Hamley (Diamond Light Source) , Glyn Barrett (University of Reading) , Jani Seitsonen (Aalto University) , Janne Ruokolainen (Aalto University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acs Applied Materials & Interfaces

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 18523

Abstract: The preparation of hydrogels and stable emulsions is important in the formulation of many functional nanostructured soft materials. We investigate the multi-functional self-assembly and bioactivity properties of a novel surfactant-like peptide that shows antimicrobial activity, that is able to form hydrogels without pH adjustment, and is able to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions. Furthermore, we demonstrate on-demand de-emulsification in response to the protease enzyme elastase. We show that the surfactant-like peptide (Ala)9-Arg (A9R) forms β-sheet fibers above a critical aggregation concentration and that water-in-oil emulsions are stabilized by a coating of β-sheet fibers around the emulsion droplets. Furthermore, we demonstrate enzyme-responsive de-emulsification, which has potential in the development of responsive release systems. The peptide shows selective antimicrobial activity against Gram negative pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes serious infections. Our results highlight the utility of surfactant-like peptides in the stabilization of oil/water emulsions and the potential for these to be used to formulate antimicrobial peptide emulsions which are additionally responsive to protease. The peptide A9R has pronounced antibacterial activity against clinically challenging pathogens, and its ability to form β-sheet fibers plays a key role in its diverse structural properties, ranging from hydrogel formation to emulsion stabilization.

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Chemistry

Instruments: B21-High Throughput SAXS

Other Facilities: ESRF